KJAN Ag/Outdoor

From County extension to conservation to grain prices, we provide lots of information every day on KJAN.  Here is some of that information on the web too!  We hope you find it useful.

Middle America bankers survey index drops slightly

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 17th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A monthly survey of bankers in 10 Midwest and Great Plains states shows the rural economy slowing down, but reflects strong gains in hiring and farmland prices. The Rural Mainstreet Index released Thursday dropped slightly from 59.8 last month to 59.6 in February. Anytime the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, is above 50, it suggests the economy will grow. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says he expects to see slower growth in farm income as a result of softer agriculture commodity prices and higher overhead costs. The economic confidence index, which reflects expectations for the economy six months out, rose to 60.3 from January’s 56.1. The survey covers Iowa, Nebraska, the Dakotas, Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and Wyoming.

Women farmland owners in western IA invited to free hunting & wildlife mgmt. workshop

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 16th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

 Women who own or manage farmland in and around Shelby County (IA), are invited to a free discussion and field tour on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at the Therkildsen Activity Center in Harlan. The focus of this meeting is making informed decisions about hunting and managing wildlife on your farmland. Coffee and registration begin at 8:30 a.m. A free lunch is provided, followed by an optional field tour of area habitat sites. The event is sponsored by Women, Food and Agriculture Network as part of its Women Caring for the LandSM series, in collaboration with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Iowa State University Extension. 

Women Caring for the LandSM meetings bring together women landowners in an informal, discussion-based learning format for a morning discussion, followed by a more in-depth look at the two or three topics of most interest. Female conservation professionals are on hand to answer questions and share resources. Following lunch, area NRCS staff lead a field tour to view conservation practices on the ground. For information about the program, visit www.wfan.org. To RSVP for this meeting, contact Lynn Heuss at 515.201.9405 by 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27. Space is limited to 15; please reserve your space early!

USDA Report 02-16-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 16th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Cass County Extension Report 02-15-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 15th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen


Spending cuts trump farm subsidies for many voters


February 15th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON (AP) — Promoting farm subsidies was once a no-brainer for rural members of Congress seeking re-election. This year, it’s a bit trickier. As lawmakers wade cautiously into writing the next five-year farm bill, agribusiness and farmers’ lobbyists are preparing for the worst. With little appetite for spending on Capitol Hill, subsidy cuts in the billions of dollars are on the table as rural voters also cry out for less government. It doesn’t help that farm business is booming. “What’s different this time is we have very strong commodity prices,” says Roger Johnson, president of the National Farmers Union. “And that is generally not a really good time to write a farm bill because everyone who is projecting the future says, ‘Oh, this is going to last forever.’”

Farm bills in 2002 and 2008 also were driven by rural election-year politics. Lawmakers, particularly in the Senate, curried favor with farm interests in their states by slipping their priorities into the bills. Taking care of everyone’s needs ensured passage and subsidies remained almost untouched. But this year, many of farmers’ traditional allies are just as concerned, if not more concerned, about voters’ calls for less spending. Sen. Pat Roberts, senior Republican on the Senate Agriculture Committee and a veteran of many farm bills, says his constituents aren’t asking about farm subsidies as much as they used to. He says he gets more questions about government regulations that farmers see as burdensome. Traditional farm issues and the impact of farm policy have gotten somewhat lost. “I don’t think most people who run for office realize there is still a significant farm vote,” he says.

Nowhere was that more clear than in Iowa, where presidential candidates have wooed farm country for decades. Several of the contenders in the Iowa caucuses actually spoke out against corn-based ethanol, a position unthinkable in the past. Farm-state members have already said they will support eliminating some subsidies. Last fall, the heads of the House and Senate agriculture committees — Republican Rep. Frank Lucas of Oklahoma and Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan — negotiated a farm bill that cut $23 billion from agriculture and nutrition programs, hoping to piggyback it on the budget-cutting supercommittee’s bill. When the supercommittee fizzled, so did their hopes for a speedy farm bill.

This year, they are starting over with more input from other agriculture committee members. But direct payments, a type of subsidy paid without regard to crop price or crop yield and costing taxpayers about $5 billion a year, are still a top target as the Senate Agriculture Committee opens hearings on the legislation Wednesday. That was cemented by President Barack Obama’s call to eliminate them in his budget proposal Monday, which put forth a $32 billion cut in farm programs. That’s a strong contrast from 2008, when Obama supported the last farm bill while he was campaigning for president. That legislation was far more generous — even raising some subsidies — than the bill Congress is weighing this year.

Farm Service Agency rolls out smartphone website

Ag/Outdoor, News

February 11th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Farmers and ranchers seeking information from the Farm Service Agency can do so more easily using smartphones with a new optimized website. The technology improvements, announced Friday, will allow users to access information on loan deficiency payments, updated prices, agency news releases and other services. The mobile version organizes the website information to make it easy for reading on a small, handheld screen. Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse says as more farmers and ranchers are using mobile devices and high-tech tools, so the government must keep up. The FSA’s mobile website is at: www.fsa.usda.gov/mobile .


Ag/Outdoor, News

February 10th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

What do bald eagles, great blue herons and bullfrogs have in common? They are three of many species which benefit every year from the efforts of Iowa’s volunteer wildlife monitors! These volunteers make a big impact by contributing a small amount of time to studying our native wildlife. Last year, our volunteers monitored bald eagle nests, waterbird rookeries, falcon eyries and amphibian habitats. We hope to expand this program with the addition of new volunteers in 2012.

 Interested in becoming a certified volunteer wildlife monitor? The DNR is looking for volunteers comfortable with technology, have good note-taking skills, enjoy observing wildlife and want to enjoy the outdoors. First-time volunteers must sign up for one of our educational workshops. A $10 registration fee pays for training materials, a meal, subscription to our newsletter, a frog and toad call CD or bird identification guide and certification costs. 

During each workshop participants will be oriented with the history and purpose of the program, trained in monitoring techniques, familiarized with the natural history of the animals to be monitored and provided the opportunity to practice newly acquired skills in a short field lab session. Registration forms are available on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/volunteerwildlifemonitoring.

Among the locations for the 2012 Volunteer Wildlife Monitoring Program Workshops is: 

Page County – March 11

2039 Highway 71 North, Clarinda, IA 51632

10:00 am to 4:30 pm

USDA Report 02-09-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 9th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Denny Heflin


Cass County Extension Report 02-08-2012

Ag/Outdoor, Podcasts

February 8th, 2012 by Chris Parks

w/ Kate Olsen talking about healthy lifestyle initiatives.


Walleye tagging helps DNR manage fish population


February 8th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (AP) — A system for netting and tagging walleye is helping Iowa Department of Natural Resources biologists track and study population trends of the fish that is one of the most popular game species in North America. For 21 years the DNR has netted walleye in Northern Iowa lakes during April to tag them. It has built a database of about 24,000 walleyes. The database allows biologists to track annual abundance, survival and growth rates It also is used to support research projects aimed at improving walleye fisheries.

DNR Biologist Jonathan Meerbeek says the agency bases management decisions, like regulations or stocking rates, on several years of data to maintain adequate fishing supplies. The state’s record walleye catch was 14 pounds, eight ounces, caught in September 1986 in the Des Moines River.